State Championship Football Outlook

Mineola (13-2) Vs. Yoakum (11-4)

Last week, I had picked Wall and Malakoff to advance to the state championship game and neither of those projections came to fruition.  Mineola dominated the Wall in every phase of the game in a 50-8 win.  This Yellowjacket team has dominated the past two weeks.  In addition to the walkover of Wall, Mineola won their regional final over Pottsboro in similar fashion, 46-3.  Meanwhile, Yoakum pulled off the upset win over Malakoff in the semifinals, 28-24.  When Malakoff was clicking, they were able to strike with big plays.  While Malakoff did struggle offensively in that game to execute, you have to credit Yoakum in limiting those explosive plays.  Both Mineola and Yoakum are run-heavy, so this will be a big test for each defensive front. 

Josh's Pick: Yoakum by 1. 


Iraan (15-0) Vs. Bremond (15-0)

This game will open up state championship weekend and it will be the only contest to feature two undefeated teams.  Bremond was tested by Burton in last week's 50-31 win.  The Tigers, which now have a 46-game winning streak, led Burton 18-15 at the half before pulling away down the stretch.  The only thing standing in the way of the 47th straight win and third consecutive state title is Iraan.  Iraan, much like Bremond, has had very few struggles the entire season.  Since the start of district, no team has come closer than 19 points of the Braves. 

Josh's Pick: Bremond by 10. 


Crawford (14-1) Vs. Refugio (14-1)

Central Texas is well represented in this year's state championship games.  Of the four local teams playing this weekend, Crawford may be considered the biggest underdog.  Refugio is no stranger to the state championship game, and this could be one of Jason Herring's top teams to date.  The Bobcats are known for their highly proficient offense, but this year's team is playing solid defense.  In five playoff games, the Bobcats have only give up 53 points.  Crawford's closest call was to Mart (27-20) in the third round of the playoffs.  

Josh's Pick: Refugio by 14. 


Temple (12-3) Vs. Highland Park (13-2)

Two weeks ago, Temple was not supposed to beat Manvel - the number one ranked team in 5A.  The Wildcats pulled that one off, 24-23.  In last week's state semifinal, Temple was not supposed to beat Richmond Foster, but they did, 31-24.  All the Wildcats have to do now is pull off one more upset over Highland Park to win their third state championship and first since 1992.  Highland Park ranks first in the state in all-time wins with 800 victories while Temple sits in fourth with 749.  Jerry Jones’ grandson, John Stephen Jones, is the starting quarterback for Highland Park. 

Josh's Pick: Temple by 3.


Lake Travis (14-1) Vs. The Woodlands (15-0)

There will not be a better game to end Central Texas' run at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.  Lake Travis became a household name when they won a record five-straight state championships from 2007 to 2011.  The Cavaliers have only been playing football since 1984, but will be going for the sixth championship on Saturday night.  Their opponent has never won a state championship - The Woodlands Highlanders.  The Highlanders took down perennial power Katy (26-3) in non-district in addition to last week’s win over Allen, 36-28.  Allen is now 75-3 since 2012. 

Josh's Pick: Lake Travis by 7. 


Sweetwater (13-1) Vs. West Orange-Stark (15-0)

Out of all the games in Arlington this week, this one figures to be the most lopsided according to the experts as West Orange-Stark appears to be on another level from the competition in 4A division two.  The Mustangs are 15-0 and have had no challenges with seven shutouts and only 63 points given up in 15 ball games.  If there was a team that could pull off the upset, Sweetwater fits the bill.  It will be a long shot, but Sweetwater did take down favored Gilmer last week, 48-35. 

Josh's Pick: West Orange-Stark by 21.